tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 19, 2009 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
betty nguyen. >> hello. i'm t.j. holmes. 11:00 in atlanta, georgia, where we sit, 8:00 a.m. on the west coast. thanks for being with us. we want to begin in denver. developing story there where a young afghan man the facing a fourth day of questions from the fbi. the focus here, an alleged plot to attack a train hub, perhaps new york's grand central terminal. cnn's homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve in denver for us now. jeanne, what can you tell us? a lot of questions people have, hearing details about this man, najibullah zazi with ties to al qaeda yet he hasn't been arrested. what is happening with him? >> reporter: well, najibullah zazi will be undergoing a fourth day of questioning from the fbi even as we're getting different versions of what's transpired so far. an administration official says zazi has admitted to ties with al qaeda, but his attorney says that isn't so. arthur fulsome told cnn, no, he
did not admit to having ties to al qaeda. and folsom added zazi did not attend an al qaeda training camp. reports of that have been circulating. he was not under arrest last night. he was allowed to go home and sleep in his own home where his attorney said he was resting comfortably. in addition, two sources are now telling cnn, two sources familiar with the investigation, that zazi was carrying when we went to new york last week video of grand central station in new york. that contributed to this fear that a plot against transit systems might be under way. but an administration -- excuse me -- the attorney general, eric holder, spoke yesterday. he said that he did not believe there was any imminent threat at this point in time even though he said the fbi was working this case around the clock in new york in denver and also he said in other cities around the country. t.j.? >> help us understand a little bit. a lot to work through here because we're hearing different things from both sides. is there a possibility that they
think an arrest will come out of this, or are they just making sure they are checking this out thoroughly? some of the sources telling us he's admitting ties to al qaeda. that sounds serious. his side saying no he did not. what is the fbi telling us as guidance of exactly how serious of a threat -- they were calling him real-deal terrorist. where are we? >> reporter: let me try and be constructive with this. the fbi is saying virtually nothing at the instructions of director muller, a cone of silence has descended over that entire bureaucracy. so, we're not getting much in the way of clarification from them. the administration official who was familiar with the matter did indicate to me that the government was contemplating what charges it might be able to bring against zazi, a plea deal is not out of the question. what we may be seeing here -- and i'm not a lawyer, so don't hold me to this. what we may be seeing here is some of the choreography. we don't know the state of play
in these negotiations in this exploration of charges between the fbi and zazi and his lawyer. so, what we may be seeing is a reflection of the that. we hope to get some clarity today. zazi's lawyer indicated he'd be talking to us later or some kind of statement which might gave little clarity to this, which we certainly do not have right now. >> we appreciate that. thank you for breaking that down. americans out there hearing a lot of stuff about threats at train stations, all this stuff, so want to make sure we're giving it to them straight. thanks, jeanne. >> that was good to clear that up because earlier in the reports they were saying he did have ties to al qaeda, now saying that is not factually correct. continuing to follow that investigation. germany has bumped up its terror alert this weekend. an al kooid video threatened attacks after a national election there. and a speaker warns german voters to support candidates who favor pulling troops from afghanistan. they are told to stay out of public areas in the first two
weeks after the election. seven ex-cia directors are calling on president obama to put a stop to a justice department probe. the investigation focuses on possible abuse by cia interrogators who questioned terror suspects. the former spy chiefs say the investigation could have a chilling effect in its aggressive intelligence work. the directors were appointed by republican and democratic presidents dating back to the nixon era. first lady joining the president this week on a media blitz to push health care reform. this after senator max baucus released his version of a compromise bill. white house correspondent dan lothian joins us more with details. the president has really beefed up his effort to keep the momentum going on this health care issue. >> reporter: he really has. as the white house believed, there are a lot of people who have gotten misinformation and they believe that the president can clear things up. so, you saw on thursday at the university of maryland the
president being very forceful, getting young people fired up, telling them what health care reform will mean, not only to them but also their families. and then just yesterday, as you pointed out, the first lady jumped into the fray in a big way at an event for the white house counsel for women and girls. the first lady took on the fight for health care reform and framing it as something that will be equal to women's equality. women, she pointed out, bear the brunt of the burden for making some of the health care decisions in a family, whether it's taking their kids to the doctor, taking care of their spouses. but they are often the ones who don't have a lot of the tests they need to take covered by their insurance company. so, the first lady really turning to women, pushing hard for health care reform. and then, of course, the president sitting down yesterday to tape five different sunday talk show interviews. again, this is all part of that push where he'll deal on a number of different issues but health care reform obviously one of them. and then capping off this latest
push on monday nigh, the president will be sitting down to chat things up with david letterman, betty. >> let me ask you this. any chance that this overexposure will backfire? >> reporter: you know, that is a question that has been asked time and time again. what the white house will say, in fact, robert gibbs pointed out yesterday that there was a time when reporters were asking the question of when is the president going to get more involved? when is the president going to get out there and talk and push very hard for health care reform? and he says now the questions are, is there a danger of overexposure. what the white house believes is that, again, there's still a lot that needs to be cleared up and they think that the president in this case, also, now, the first lady are the best spokespeople for health care reform and that's the reason they're out there. they have no concern at all about overexposure. >> some people say no publicity is bad publicity. right? >> reporter: right. >> get out there when you can. dan lothian, thank you. tomorrow at 9:00 eastern, president obama sits down with john king.
conservatives are regrouping and reenergizing this weekend. deputy political director paul steinhauser is in middle of that at the values voter summit in washington. paul, hello to you once again, sir. getting you going this morning? >> t.j., this is their fourth annual conference, and it's a gathering of social conservatives from across the country. we have about 2,000 people over this two-day gathering. as you can imagine, social issues are high on the agenda here, but so is health care. we're hearing a lot about the president's proposals on health care and cap and trade and other big issues being debated in congress right now. this morning, we heard from john boehner. he is the top republican in the house of representatives, and he was talking about a lot of those issues and talking about next year and hopefully in his mind grabbing back control of congress. take a listen.
>> i'm not running for president. all right? i'm leading an effort amongst republicans to earn back our majority so we can take the gavel away from nancy pelosi. >> now, organizers here, t.j., say that the crowds this year are a lot larger and enthusiastic than last year during the presidential election. >> presidential election. funny you should mention that, paul. how much presidential politics is playing into what's happening there? >> well, you know, it's 2009. we're three years away. you'd be surprised. there is a lot, actually. a couple minutes from now, mitt romney, the former governor of massachusetts, who ran for president, he'll speak here. a couple people who may want to run in 2010. tim pawlenty of minnesota, governor there, mike pence, congressman from indiana, and mike huckabee, the former governor of arkansas. they'll have a straw poll. they've been voting yesterday
and today. we'll hear results this afternoon, a sprau strau poll on who the people here like for the nomination in 2012, a very early look. >> deputy political director and friend of our show here but certainly a friend, we had that live interview earlier with minority leader john boehner, paul to thank for that for getting him in front of a camera for us. we appreciate you as always. truly a friend to our show on cnn saturday and sunday morning. thanks again. see you soon. >> thanks, t.j. republican representative joe wilson may be feeling the partisan heat for his outburst at the president's address to congress. now that he's back home, what kind of reception is he getting there? and they called him a person of interest. turns out he was the prime suspect from the jump. new details on the arrest of the man accused of murdering a yale graduate student. woman: caitlin's pretty competitive.
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it was tough news to hear. everything changed. i didn't know what to do. right about then, our doctor mentioned the exelon patch. he said it releases medicine continuously for 24 hours. he said it could help with her cognition which includes things like memory, reasoning, communicating and understanding. (announcer) the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers or who take certain other medicine should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems, such as bleeding may worsen. mom's diagnosis was hard to hear, but there's something i can do. (announcer) visit exelonpatch.com for free caregiving resources.
well, we are getting more details about the suspect charged with killing yale graduate student annie le. >> turns out police knew their prime suspect before they'd even found le's body. randi kaye has the breakdown. >> reporter: ray clark knew he was in trouble. he knew he was being followed by more than half a dozen police investigators. he likely also knew where the investigation into annie le's death was heading. new haven police chief james lewis told me he had his narcotics unit which specializes in surveillance track clark's every move. even before they found annie le's body chief lewis said he knew clark was their prime suspect. the head of the unit began following clark saturday night, the day before le's body was found, strangled and hidden
inside a basement wall at the lab building where she worked alongside the man now accused of killing her. at first, narcotics officers didn't want clark to know they were on trail. that first night they camped outside his parents' house in cromwell, connecticut, about 24 miles from yale's campus. the day le's body was found, clark played softball. detectives were in the crowd. my bimonday, the day after le's body was discovered, investigators changed their tactics. they wanted clark to know they were tailing him. they parked right in front of his apartment and let their badges show while they walked around. mind games they were hoping would lead clark to talk to them and maybe even confess. it didn't happen. tuesday morning, investigators went to him, armed with search warrants, they wanted hair and fingernail dna samples. investigators focused on clark in part because of what they saw on the more than 700 hours of videotape from the lab building security cameras.
on that tape, ray clark stood out. a source with knowledge of the investigation told me clark was seen leaving the building after someone, possibly him, pulled the fire alarm. he had his head in his hands and looked distraught. after clark gave a dna sample, on wednesday he got a room at this spuper 8 motel in his family's hometown. he stayed there with his parents, hiding from the media, likely knowing it wouldn't be long before officers came knocking again. by this time, investigators had interviewed about 150 people and had collected 300 pieces of evidence. then came the dna match our source says clearly connects clark to the murder, indicating the victim's dna was found on ray clark. early thursday morning, clark was arrested and charged with killing yale medical student annie le. he's being held on $3 million bond. he hasn't entered a plea. his lawyers aren't talking and neither is he.
randi kaye, cnn, new haven, connecticut. >> well, today's forecast doesn't bode so well for much of the deep and midsouth. more rain in the forecast for parts hit hard earlier this week. look at this video of flooding. memphis, yesterday's downpour backed up the city's storm drainage system, ew, streets flooded, leaving a few cars trapped in high water. >> well, karen, did she pretty much sum you have the forecast? >> i'm not eve an certified meteorologist. yeah. i know all morning we've been talking about the soggy weather across the southeast. its impact has been widespread all the way from arkansas, portions of texas and into northern alabama. we're starting to see one way pull across atlanta. let's go ahead and she you the atlanta tower cam. looking down on centennial olympic park. it is beautiful. lot of fun, lots of visitors here every year. but it's gray and gloomy and that has been the forecast and
the past weather that we've seen. cameras moving a little there. you can see a couple little dots on the lens of the camera. there's low visibility across the skyline in atlanta. that's just going to be more of what we see and expect over the next 24 hours. let's go ahead and show you what's happening as far as temperatures are concerned because they definitely have been running below normal across the southeast. but want to point out what's happening in the west. billings, montana, 93 degrees. yeah, pretty warm. they're looking at the heat there today but going into tomorrow we're going to watch these temperatures drop down into the 60s and 70s. it will be blustery. but we also are expecting for the west coast this offshore flow. you probably heard that quite a bit here on cnn especially when it comes to fire weather, because that's what we're looking at the in the next 24 to 48 hours. let's look in forecast and show you what's going on. here's that area of low pressure that is just staying in the atmosphere quite some time. as a result, it sents those
waves of moisture pushing in across the deep south. there's a suburb to the northeast of atlanta in a county call ed winnette county. there's a mailbox, gobbled up, part of the curb, part of the sidewalk. this neighborhood has about 50 homes in it. this is the only road in and out so essentially the county came in, made sure everything was safe but the homeowners have to pay to repair this because it's a private street. it's not like it's an interstate or a highway or secondary road. so, looks like some money coming out of their pockets before they even get out of the neighborhood. >> well, thank you. the calendar, september 19th, 2009. but happy new year to some people. >> it's rosh hashanah which
translated from hebrew means the beginning of the new year. the observance continues sunday at dusk. it begins with ten days of penitence prior to the yom kippur, or atonement day. just in case you're counting, according to the jewish calendar the year is 5750. >> check the calendar. illegal immigrants not supposed to benefit from health care reform, not supposed to get coverage. but what if they get amnesty? we decide to turn in early. we just know. announcer: finding the moment that's right for you both can take some time. that's why cialis gives men with erectile dysfunction options: 36-hour cialis or cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may
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methods. they argue that going public abpast intelligence operations can only help al qaeda and jeopardize critical assistance of foreign intelligence counterparts. an afghan national living in denver facing more tough questions tuesday by the fbi about an alleged terror plot. an obama administration official tells cnn 24-year-old najibullah zazi has admitted ties to al qaeda. his lawyer, however, says he did not. u.s. intelligence officials believe zazi and others were planning an attack on a major transportation hub. sources tell cnn zazi had video of new york's grand central terminal. some video to show you here. take a look. this was the scene in mexico city. a deadly subway shooting. see people filing out there, but that's the gunman. he is now on the train at that point. but before that, he had shot a few people. eight were wounded, two were killed. this was during rush hour. but you can see it kind of started on the left there, everybody standing there, see a
commotion. he was shooting a police officer there. the officer goes down. we're only showing you so much of this video. that man, a good samaritan, tries to take down that gunman. the gunman now facing some charges. we'll get another check of our top stories in about 20 minutes. a hot-button issue surrounding health care reform, and that is illegal immigrants and they're not supposed to be covered under the president's plan, but they could be if the millions of illegal immigrants already here were fast tracked onto the road to citizenship through immigration reform. our lisa silvester explains. >> reporter: president obama has made it clear illegal immigrants should not receive benefits under the health care proposals, but he's also made clear that he supports creating a path to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens currently in the united states. this is what he told the congressional hispanic caucus institute. >> i do not believe we can extend coverage to those here illegally. if anything, this debate underscores the necessity of
passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country once and for all. >> reporter: some republicans sense a backdoor strategy in the making, that despite language in the health care bills that prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving government-subsidized health coverage, in the end, representative lamar smith says they could still get coverage. >> he's saying on one hand the health care plan that is being considered now is not going to cover illegal immigrants, but then he's saying, well, i really want to give all those illegal immigrant s amnesty, legalize them, so they'll be eligible for health care. >> reporter: a white house adviser dismissed smith's contention, saying immigration reform is not a means to get more imgrants into the health system. but a former immigration official who describes himself as an obama supporter says millions more might be added to the health care system, that should be a factor in the debate. >> we're struggling to find a way to pay for health care
reform without raising taxes. and, you know, it's a balancing act, and if you weigh in 12 million or more illegal aliens who are going to be legalized and become eligible for benefits, that tilts the balance. >> reporter: if comprehensive immigration reform passes in congress, how soon would those receiving amnesty be eligible to sign up for government health assistance? under the 1996 reform law, knewly legalized immigrants have to wait at least five years before being eligible for programs like medicare. a la tino civil rights group wants to eliminate any waiting period for immigrants with legal status. lisa sylvester, cnn, washington. should the u.s. commit more troops to afghanistan? we'll take you to the battle on capitol hill. - let's go with the, ah... - basic package.
afghanistan taking place on two fronts, one, of course, afghanistan, the other, washington. >> yeah. the battle on capitol hill, whether the u.s. should commit more troops to the fight in afghanistan, fighting the taliban, specifically. here's cnn's pentagon correspondent barbara starr. >> reporter: the latest suicide car bomb attack in the heart of kabul. another day when insurgents made clear the capital city is not safe. but suddenly, the obama administration and the president's top military advisers are split on the urgency to fix afghanistan's security problems. just days after the top military officer said -- >> a properly resourced counterinsurgency probably means more forces. >> reporter: the vice president said not so fast. >> a decision on additional resources is premature, and it's a distance off. >> reporter: in an exclusive interview, vice president joe biden told cnn's chris lawrence no more troops will be sent until the current 21,000 troop
increase is in place and the afghan election results are finalized, all still weeks away. but a senior u.s. military official tells cnn general stanley mcchrystal, the top u.s. commander, has now decided how many more troops he needs but he's been told by washington don't send that request until you're asked for it. >> there's been a lot of talk this week and the last two or three weeks about afghanistan. and frankly, from my standpoint, everybody ought to take a deep breath. >> reporter: the reason may be the white house is not ready to hear what the general has to say. all indications are mcchrystal now believes he needs 30,000 to 40,000 additional troops. military sources tell us they worry. it's a huge decision the white house does not want to get in the way of other issues like health care. but senior military officers
have long signaled they can't wait too long given afghanistan's collapsing security. >> i think it is serious and it is deteriorating, and i've said that over the last couple of years that the taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated. >> reporter: mcchrystal's plan may not remain under wraps for long. there are growing indications from some republicans in congress they want to hear from the general directly about what he has in mind. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. well, russia has responded in kind to president obama's scrapping the bush administration's missile defense shield. it's dropping its own plans for a missile site near poland. here's what we're talking about. the russian missiles would have been in a small russian enclave on poland's northern border, but poland was supposed to have a u.s. missile site. but president obama says the u.s. will now focus on more mobile missile defense systems. it's a critical time in the
health care reform debate. i asked the former senate majority leader, tom daschle, who has the ear of the president on health care, about the arguments on both sides. >> i think when it comes to how much help there is for the states and how much help there is for the middle class as they try to buy insurance, we're probably going to have to adjust those figures. i think there's a growing consensus that we've got room in the budget now to address those figures at a little bit more successfully. so, my guess is you're going to see those numbers tweaked in the next few days. >> that sounds like more expe e expensi expensive. how much more expensive? >> i think within the realm of the budget. we're shooting for something below $900 billion. i think we're going to deal that. we've got several billion dollars to deal with here. i think most of those resources will go into making insurance more affordable for more people. >> there are five bills out there, thousands of pages, but we have a general idea of all of these bills.
this particular bill does not have the public option in it. we have some saying a democrat, just here with us yesterday, said this one is dead on arrival. so, how does this bill move us forward if you have a democratic even saying this bill doesn't have a chance in heck if it does not have the public option in it? >> well, the prospects for a public option, t.j., are different in the house than they are in the senate. a calculation has been made that the votes just aren't there today, but i think perhaps before the end of this process you'll have some votes, a vote up or down probably on some form of a public option either in committee or on the senate floor, then we'll know. but clearly we have to move forward, and that's exactly what the democrats and some republicans are trying to do, find what common ground we can. we'll find out whether that includes a public option or not in the senate. >> you say there will be an up-or-down vote at some point. at that point, do you expect and is there just hope that
democrats will then just, you know, stake their position and vote together no matter what this public debate is like? just hoping that maybe once it comes to the floor democrats will get together and this might have to be a partisan bill. >> well, this is a test of governance. we are facing one of the biggest challenges in the country domestically with health reform. we have to demonstrate we can address that challenge successfully. democrats are in the clear majority in the house and senate, we have the white house. we have to perform and get this job done. i think you'll see democrats coalescing around a final version that will give us the unity we need to do that job within the next few weeks. >> before i let you go, let me ask you about the president. you have the ear of the president and he has your ear, as well. from what you understand, will the president sign a bill that does not have the public option? >> the president is going to wait and see until the final product is delivered before he makes any final decision on what
he's going to do, t.j. he's going to look at everything, whether there's a public option, something he and i both strongly support. he'll look at the whole package and make a decision at that time. >> and he will be doing a whole lot of television this weekend. is that good or bad? does the president need to maybe -- he's playing off his personal poppopularity, but is running a risk of overexposing? >> he's our best spokesperson. now is the time. now is the -- really his best opportunity to make the case to the american people using the media, talking to members of congress, talking to groups as he did yesterday on a university campus. he is doing everything he possibly can to ensure that we've not left one stone unturned in getting this job done. >> i know you said the best spokesman. i have to let you go. but part of the problem, as well, he talks about my plan, but what he has is his suggestions. do you think he needs to send a bill up there that says health
care by barack obama instead of leading it to them on capitol hill to put something together? >> we now have three bills, three in the house and two in the senate. >> but none are his. do we need his? >> we'll have his and he's working to make sure it's his at the end of day. he's said he will work with congress to deliver bill that's both his and the congress' and that's how it should be. the gop leadership opinion on health care hasn't changed this week despite the latest compromise bill having no public option. in the weekly radio address, sue myrick of north carolina warned it will cause delays in treatment. >> she's so-called health care reform bills have different names -- a public option, a co-op, a trigger. make no mistake, these are all gateway to government-run health care. >> myrick also says the
president's plan to eliminate waste and abuse in medicare and medicaid means seniors on medicare should expect cuts. a few days from now, the world's economic leaders meet in pittsburgh for the g-20 summit. find out what the president thinks they should accomplish. you know, the guys who do a super job. introducing the superguarantee. go to superpages.com to find a business with the superguarantee. we're so confident in these super businesses we stand behind their services. you'll get the job done right or we'll step in and help to make it right. sign up for free at superpages.com the new superguarantee making the good guys easy to find.
it was tough news to hear. everything changed. i didn't know what to do. right about then, our doctor mentioned the exelon patch. he said it releases medicine continuously for 24 hours. he said it could help with her cognition which includes things like memory, reasoning, communicating and understanding. (announcer) the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers or who take certain other medicine should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems,
the g-20 summit is meeting in pittsburgh next week, and in his weekly radio address and on the web, president obama said the world's leading economic powers have made real progress in stabilizing the global financial system since their last summit in april. but he says they still need to solve the gaps in regulation that allow the reckless risk taking and irresponsibility.
gunfire added greater urgency to the afternoon rush hour yesterday in this mexico city substation. look at this video. people start racing away. police say they stopped a suspected graffiti artist who pulled a gun and opened fire on the train platform. there's the guy right there. he killed two people. eight others were hurt, five by gunfire and three people were trampled in the ensuing stam paid. the suspect faces a litany of charges including murder. a judge says katherine jackson can challenge the executor's named in her son's will and won't be disinherited because of it. michael jackson put an executor in charge of his vast estate, but his mother wants control. the estate is paying katherine jackson $86,000 a month for living expenses. want to check out the weekend forecast, which is a mess for a lot of folks, including us here in atlanta. >> nothing like the rain. >> good napping day. >> exactly. yeah.
or watching s.e.c. football. >> indoors, though. >> yes. reynolds probably sitting in the stadium waiting for the game to start. it's just going to pour down rain. what's happened is we've seen an area of low pressure situated across the south central u.s. sending wavers of moisture across the southeast. there's also moisture from the atlantic. we just got this tropical air that has been in place. a lot of these areas seeing exceptional rainfall totals. just in the past half hour i showed you pictures of the sinkhole around atlanta. i want to show you atlanta right now. take a look at the visibility. that's why at hartsfield-jackson international airport on this live tower cam, that's why you see the drops of rainfall. the low visibility is producing delays of about a half hour to 45 minutes. now we're kind of getting a view as we swing around. this is centennial olympic park right down here at the bottom of your screen, this on top of the -- oh, thankfully somebody
wiped the camera lens off for us so we can see just a little better. but kind of a miserable, gloomy gray day. it will remain that way. this is tucked across the southeastern corridor, but you go up here and take a look across the northern tier. we've got very nice, warm weather conditions, temperatures running about 10 to 12 degrees above where they should be for this time of year. into the pacific northwest, here comes a front. that's going to knock those temperatures down rather substantially going into tomorrow. so, in the next 36 hours, these temperatures will be in the 90s and drop down into the 60s and 70s, going to be breezy. also want to point out one other thing, and that is we're going to see an offshore flow in southern california. that's bad news, t.j. and betty, because typically if it's hot, if it's dry, we've got those windy conditions, not a lot of humidity, then we really up the fire danger. >> that's absolutely what they do not need. thank you, karen.
appreciate it. already, folks. this not that tough a question, right? who wrote the declaration of independence. answer that to yourself right now. how about who was the first president of the united states? surely any high school student could answer that. right? not so much. with copd, i was short of breath,
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easy pop quiz. >> easy. >> how excited would you be if you had a test and one of the questions was who was the first president of the u.s.? easy stuff. ace it. >> you might be surprised by the percentage of high school students who couldn't come up with the right answer on a recent survey. they did not know that. cnn takes a look. >> reporter: they're questions every foreigner becoming a u.s. citizen must know. how many justices are on the supreme court? who was the first president of the united states? a recent survey shows only 23% of oklahoma public high school students correctly answered george washington. even fewer knew their nine
supreme court justices. brandon dutcher of the conservative oklahoma council of public affairs commissioned the telephone survey of 1,000 students. >> the citizenship exam has a first-try passing rate of 92%. sadly, our high school students only passed at the rate of 2.8%. so, that was -- that was actually kind of a punch many the gut. >> reporter: on a national level, students don't fare well either. the latest national civic score show about a quarter of 12th graders have a proficient knowledge of civics. that's remained relatively continue stan over the last ten years. it extend into college and adulthood. another national survey shows fewer than half of all americans can name all three branches of the government. groups that emphasize teaching civics in schools are outraged. >> our nation is premised on informed participation. that is the central aspect of the democratic republic. >> what's at stake is when you
go into that voting booth, can you cast an informed vote? well, you can't if you have no idea what the institutions you're voting for stand for. >> reporter: thefor. >> reporter: the oklahoma department of education questions the credibility of the recent survey because it was done by phone, telling cnn, quote, we conduct state testing and the questions are much more difficult. the pass rate is 68% to 70% in all four of the state's social studies exams. >> all right. so we asked you to weigh in and got a lot of good responses. let's take you straight to them. jonathan says, that's sad but i bet if you ask them sports or television-related questions they'd score an a plus. an interesting point. we go to twitter real quick, this is a direct result of teaching the test to pass tests required for the nclb, in my opinion. >> a good point there. >> some people say you're missing a lot of basic information. my mom is a retired school teacher but she'd always say you
have to teach kids differently. this kid might be ahead of this kid. >> one way and expect them all to learn. >> yeah. they find themselves trying to teach to what answers are going to be on a particular test. you miss some of that general knowledge. one here from adam. we've been talking about this. it's an interesting take. what does knowing what representatives and senators aaccomplish unless you're in the government it seems kind of pointless. i mostly forget that stuff so fast. after learning it years ago i don't even think knowing senators/judges, representatives even does anything. makes you feel smarter? yes, adam, it does. >> they are helping write the law in which we all live. you may want to go vote one day and know who your senator is. >> there is this. frederica could ace that test no problem. >> this might -- >> well, no. we won't test you on it. >> whew. >> we'll give you plenty of credit. >> okay. thanks. good morning you to both. you look lovely. >> thank you. >> gorgeous. >> thank you, dear. >> i told you that earlier. you wouldn't even acknowledge it. >> no, i said thank you.
you made me blush. >> thank you, though. >> okay. we've got a lot straight ahead. congressman joe wilson, you know, he has been in the forefront of a lot of discussions all week long. he said last night, he went back to his home state of south carolina and he said, you know what? let's put it all behind us except that he had to reflect on it once again. he even offered some advice. so we'll be delving into that. 4:00 eastern hour, this has helped plea srecipitate a huge conversation taking place in offices, homes, all week long, which is where is our civility? have we lost it? we'll be focusing in the 4:00 eastern hour, are we losing control? so we want to hear from you. are folks having a difficult time trying to resolve conflicts or maybe voicing frustrations? i.e., serena williams earlier in the week and even kanye west. >> a whole nother story. >> a conversation about are we becoming a little too self-centered? also in the noon eastern hour
we've got a lot of legal cases, including a situation that took place in georgia and now all eyes are on whether the federal investigators need to jump into this one. is this a hate crime? we're talking about an alleged assault taking place between a white man and a black woman all in the view of a 7-year-old girl. it's what federal investigators want to know, what's at the heart of this matter? i would say they heard a lot of racial slurs. is this a race crime? if so, what's next? all that straight ahead noon eastern hour. and beyond. >> you have a packed hour. >> that's why i'm so out of breath. >> well, catch your breath. we'll see you in about six and a half minutes. >> okay. >> see you. a long way from where he started. yep, one astronaut finally makes it into outer space, but that is just the first step in his journey.
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on the past shuttle mission. >> something he promised to do back when he was 7. he is now committed to helping others just like him keep similar promises to themselves. >> reporter: astronaut jose hernandez was born to immigrant parents. as a child he worked alongside undocumented migrant workers here in the fields of stockton, california. his parents told us his experiences are the reason why he supports immigration reform. >> jose hernandez, mission specialist number two on the mission, making his first space flight. booster ignition and liftoff of "discovery." >> reporter: a trip to space against astronomical odds for one astronaut. >> everything in the field, you know. >> reporter: his parents were migrant workers from mexico who took their children to work with them every weekend. >> i wanted them to learn how to earn money. >> reporter: it sounds like the lesson paid off. >> it sure did.
you see the results. we see the results. >> reporter: they say every night one child, jose, just 7 at the time, would lay on the grass and stare at the stars. he told them he would become an astronaut. no jose was born in the u.s. the family followed the harvest and he didn't learn to speak english well until he was 12. but jose was gifted and proficient in the language of mathematics. he excelled in physics and engineering and never gave up on his dream. for 12 years in a row he applied to nasa and was rejected. then in 2004 he was finally accepted at the age of 41. >> you think about when we were working in the fields. you think about all the struggles, the hardships that we faced. >> reporter: on his first flight that just ended last week jose gave an interview from space to the spanish language tv network.
he talked about his background, the mission, and how he hoped the obama administration would pass comprehensive immigration reform. his public comments on the controversial issue caused nasa to take its own stand. in the statement released to the media, nasa said, hernandez' opinions are his own and do not represent the space agency but that he has every right to express his personal views. >> i'm really proud of this guy here, right there. >> reporter: his parents say they're glad their son hasn't forgotten his humble beginnings. they hope he will inspire other children to see their place in the universe. jose hernandez says he wants to make sure that other low-income students also have a chance to achieve their dreams and so he started the foundation called reaching for the stars to raise money so that the students can pursue careers in math and